The Boston Book Festival team was excited to sit down with Alexis Ivy, one of many presenters on this year’s exciting Lit Crawl lineup. Alexis’s session, entitled “Conversations with Art: Ekphrastic Writing in Graffiti Alley,” will be an opportunity for audiences to converse with their immediate surroundings through ekphrasis, a writing style focused on descriptions of art. Below, see some of Alexis’s thoughts on the creative process and how Boston as a community influences work across mediums. And snag one of just a few spots left for this free workshop on June 10th by signing up here.
BBF: What can audiences look forward to from your session at Lit Crawl?
Alexis Ivy: Writers will have the chance to be playful with language and selfhood.
BBF: How is writing poetry specifically inspired by art different from other writing endeavors?
AI: Ekphrastic poetry lets writers go to places they hadn’t thought of. Whether a translation or inspiration, art allows a writer to work in the form of persona. The exercise of ekphrasis brings unfamiliar and surprising language to the page by its ever-changing perspectives of looking at a piece of art. Art adds a creative complication to the writing making your words wondrously more dynamic and unique.
BBF: How has the past year influenced or informed your writing style or your artistic focus?
AI: I have learned I need to be away from home in order to focus on my manuscript. Since life has been all homelife, home has taken on a different definition for me as a writer. It has stopped being a refuge for me as a writer. My focus hasn’t changed as much as my artistic space.
BBF: Being Boston-born, what is your favorite aspect of the Boston-area community?
AI: Writers celebrate the literary history of our streets. The art of words is a wonderful call to action. Whether it’s poetry on the T, sidewalk poetry, public readings, library branch workshops—this city’s collaboration of writers make sure everyone’s words are seen, spoken, heard.